This series is all about Libsyn’s podcasters. Its sole purpose is to introduce these awesome podcasts to the world as well as share their podcasting insight to empower the community!
Q & A with Ty from The Alphabet
When did you start podcasting?
We came up with the idea a while ago, but really threw ourselves into writing the show in early 2014.
Because of the long lead time with scripted comedy, we wanted to wait until we were several episodes ahead on the writing process before recording, so we could stick to the monthly release schedule.
The first episode came out in December 2014.
Why did you start podcasting?
First, because we love the medium and really wanted to contribute our weird vision to it. We listen to comedy podcasts all the time and really love the idea that somebody somewhere else would be listening to ours.
We’re long-time members of Killing My Lobster, an amazing sketch comedy group in San Francisco. We’ve written for so many live shows, and it’s a lot of fun, but when the show ends, the sketch is gone forever.
We wanted to produce comedy that would stick around, but also we really want to reach a wider audience outside the San Francisco sketch comedy world.
What’s your show about?
The Alphabet is scripted sketch comedy which is different than improv in that we have a whole writing, casting and rehearsal process before we record. Then we edit it and do sound design.
It’s called The Alphabet because each episode is a new letter of the alphabet and we’re going in order (so I guess we’re committed to making 26 of these at least).
So episode “A” has sketches about Astronauts, Aliens, Apartments, Apples, Advertising, etc. Episode “C” has Cavemen, Carnivals, Chickens, and so on.
It’s “explicit” by iTunes standards, but that just means some of the characters use salty language, and also we talk about “chicken dicks” in episode C.
It’s not NSFW at my office, but if you work somewhere uptight, probably best to use headphones.
The Bardi Twins created the show and produce each episode. They also write a lot of the sketches and run the writing room. Ty directs the episodes and does the sound design and Gina wrangles the writers and puts the final script together.
What’s your podcasting set-up? Hardware, software, CMS, etc.
We have four Samson C–01 Condenser mic running into a PreSonus Firestudio.
That feeds into Reaper software where we do the recording, editing and sound design.
We set up a super cheap recording studio with the advice of a sound engineer friend. We couldn’t afford to build it out for sound baffling, so we hung acoustic ceiling panels at varying angles to break up any sound shadows and put a lot of consideration into mic placement to minimize bleed.
We’re really happy with the recording quality.
How have you promoted your podcast?
I’m still trying to figure that one out.
It’s only been out for two months, but so far we haven’t broken out of our “facebook circle” of audience.
Ideally, we want to reach the type of people who listen to podcasts from the Earwolf and Maximum Fun networks and get people out there in the real world to pay attention to it.
We’re on a monthly release schedule which doesn’t make it easy to attract followers, but it’s such a high-quality podcast and not really like anything else out there that hopefully we can break through and get noticed.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I literally knew nothing about this when I started and at every stage it turned out to be much harder than I thought it would be.
The original idea was that we would just get a couple USB mics and sit around a table reading sketches. But then I realized I couldn’t get professional quality sound that way and nobody would listen to it, so we had to build out a recording studio.
Then I realized it needed sound design and music, etc. Even when the first episode was finished, the whole process of getting it on iTunes was way more complicated than we ever thought it would be.
It’s amazing anyone can get their own podcast out.
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